My church serves as a polling place every election year. Today I stood outside of the doors distributing tracts to the voters. Like most people, they were in a hurry to get back to work. To my surprise, a man named Brian stopped to visit. He told me that he has friends that attend my church, but he goes to a Catholic Church downtown. I had many questions for Brian but I didn't want to come across as offensive. This is why I used a funnel approach. I started with broad questions, and if he responded well to those questions, then I would get more specific. Here is an example:
- Brian, how does a good Catholic get to heaven?
- What separates Protestants from Catholics?
- What are your thoughts on transubstantiation (communion)?
- Do you believe that Mary can intercede for you in heaven?
- A priest once told me that the Bible is insufficient for today's problems. Do you believe that?
- If grace is imparted through the sacraments, does that mean that Jesus' death was insufficient?
Do you know what I learned from these questions? Brian was raised Protestant, but married a Catholic woman. He has been seeking answers for these questions for a considerable amount of time. He has also been reading the Scriptures looking for answers and much of what he has determined conflicts with the traditions of his church. Brian knows where to find me and I encouraged him to contact me. I said, "Let's reason through the Scriptures together because our answers have consequences." He replied, "I know. I'm beginning to realize that."